For the past decades, technology scaling has been the driving force for the worldwide semiconductor industry. With the relentless reduction of transistor's feature size, industry has achieved larger-scale of integration, higher operation speed, and lower fabrication cost. However, the scaling of passive devices such as inductors, which are vital for communication and computation chips, is tremendously lagging behind. Consequently, the major portion of today's communication chip is occupied by the inductors, not active transistors. The intrinsic nature of the current planar lithographic technology limits the utility of the components that are more efficient with 3D structures. A properly designed and fabricated 3D spiral inductor with much smaller size could produce comparable performance a large planar inductor of several hundred microns square would. DNA scaffold-based assembling strategy has been demonstrated to form versatile, including 3D structures, and additional functionalities can be designed and incorporated into the assembly through specific chemical recognition groups. Combined with parallel process to integrate functional structures onto wafer and into circuits, they offer many opportunities that could greatly improve system's performance. This research involves the fundamental synthesis and integration of DNA-directed self-assembled inductors (SAIs), and the novel circuit applications rendered by this potential new capability. Specifically, the investigators study: 1) the chemical synthesis of 3D DNA spirals, and the attachment of various nanoparticles and therefore, different functionalities, to the DNA spirals; 2) the development of reliable ways to achieve parallel integration of such SAIs onto wafer surface and to form electrical connections to the leads, and further testing of the inductor performances; 3) the behavior of these novel inductors using simulation tools, and novel circuit designs based on the 3D SAIs.

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Arizona State University
United States
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